BOOK NAME: Thirteen Days to Midnight
AUTHOR: Patrick Carman
You are indestructible. Three words that transferred a power to Jacob Fielding that would soon change everything. Without knowing the “rules” or “guidelines” of the power, he remained unsure about it and hesitated to use it for a long time. Daily, he holds a flame under his fingers and wished it would burn his skin, but it doesn’t.
Then Ophelia James, a drop dead gorgeous daredevil at heart moves in town and become friends with Jacob and his best friend, Milo. When the secret is released to her, she becomes filled with ideas, all of which are to help people. But there is something addictive about testing the boundaries of the power and the fear that comes with running through fire unharmed, falling off buildings without a bruise and emerging yourself in water for an hour without drowning.
Jacob has to chose which lives to safe and which to let go. After a while, though, the choices become difficult and suddenly pressured. With every good deed and life they save, the power becomes cursed and Jacob only has 12 days to figure out how to release the curse.
The author wrote this beautifully and I won’t ever forget the adventure Jacob and Ophelia had cheating death. Although the cover and summary on the back might make it seem scary, it isn’t. The only thing to be cautious about was the mild language and conversations about hell. It’s an exciting quick read and any pre-teen/teen could easily eat this book up in a few days.
BOOK NAME: Boneshaker
AUTHOR: Cherie Priest
Rumors of gold in the frozen Klondike brought hordes of newcomers to the Pacific Northwest. Russian miners permitted inventor Leviticus Blue to design a machine to mine through the ice. Thus, Dr. Leviticus Blue created his Bone-Shaking Drill machine.
Before using the machine on the ice, it needed a test run. Destroying several blocks in Seattle, the test was a fail. It slowly uncovered an underground toxin gas, known as the Blight, that poisoned the air to the point of turning humans into Rotters.
Sixteen years later, a wall built around the toxic city allows no entrance or exit for humans or Rotters. Dr. Leviticus Blue’s wife, Briar, and his son Ezekiel manage alone, living with the ruined reputation of Leviticus. Becoming increasingly curious and disturbed by his father’s machine test failure, Ezekiel sets out to the toxic city to try and reveal some uncovered past. But when he gets stuck in the city, Briar is the only one who can bring him back to safety.
Boneshaker was a hard read, but worth the time. It’s not very long, but the events that take place in it are very detailed and suspenseful. I wanted to read more every time I sat down to read it, but I needed multiple breaks. It’s one of the best books out there, I assure you. Unfortunately it contains mild language, but besides that–a great read. Gnarly.
BOOK NAME: The Scorch Trials
AUTHOR: James Dashner
The Gladers successfully solved the Maze and everything was supposed to be over. No more confusion, no more puzzles, no more running to save their own lives. The Gladers expected to be able to get their preview lives they knew nothing about back. To have it easy again. But even the Maze was easy compared to what was ahead of them; the Maze provided the essentials. When diagnosed with the Flare, the Gladers are sent across a disintegrated wasteland to retrieve their cure, to prevent themselves from turning into a Crank, to pass another trial.
After reading The Maze Runner I immediately got online, looking to see if there was a second book, the ending of the first hinting on a continuous story. The Maze Runner was rather new at that time and The Scorch Trials was being written and worked on then. I waited patiently for this book to come out and as soon as I got it, I read it as fast as I could.
James Dashner is very descriptive and the surroundings of the story and characters are so real, you’ll want to engage in the story more than ever. I read dead into the night, curious about the unrevealed relationships between the events happening and the role which they all played in the character’s lives.
I suggest this book to just about anyone of any age. If you can read and have a longer attention span than a squirrel go and read this book!
BOOK NAME: The Kidnapped Prince
AUTHOR: Olaudah Equino
ADAPTED BY: Ann Cameron
In 1755 a young African boy, Olaudah Equino, was kidnapped from his people and sold into slavery. Never being exposed to any other people or cultures other than his own village, this frightened him greatly. His first taste of the world was the bitter and cruel ways of the white people, beating people of other races and treating them like animals. As Olaudah serves as a slave for most of his life, he learns the difference between right and wrong in many instances. On his journey to earning back the freedom he should’ve already had Olaudah travels halfway around the world, experiencing things that made him famous.
This was a book I was to read as part of my world history for school. I wouldn’t have picked this book off of a shelf and read it willingly, but I’m rather glad I did. Although the book is historical fiction and my tastes tend to lean more to the ‘steampunk’ style, I enjoyed it and actually learned some things from it. I was happy to read a book that featured slavery from the view of an actual slave. Olaudah Equino wrote his autobiography and it became a best-seller. Later, author Ann Cameron edited his biography to a story that could be enjoyed by all ages.
The Kidnapped Prince is a short chapter book, each chapter being about two pages long. I recommend this to anyone who can read and even to those, like myself, who have no interest in the history of slavery. This short read with increase your knowledge in slavery and peak your interests greatly, leaving you wanting more.
BOOK NAME: Incarceron
Incarceron is alive. A prison unlike any other. It’s prisoners live not in cells, but in metal forests and ramshackle cities. Since the beginning of time, it’s been closed. Nobody coming in and nobody escaping. All except one man, Sapphique. Legend says he was the only escapee. With that inspiration in mind, Finn, a young prisoner of Incarceron claims to escape. To return to where he believes is his home. The Outside.
After finding a crystal key, Finn meets Claudia. A charming, but stubborn girl who is said to live Outside. With the evil Warden of Incarceron as her father, Claudia is able to help Finn escape, but will most certainly need his help in exchange, being in the midst of an arranged marriage with a horrifying prince.
A winner. Again, another book that will be remembered always. The characters are written so detailed, I have this elaborate picture in my mind of what each person looks like. The environment and the character’s feelings are very obvious and you start to ‘feel’ for each and every one of them! I found myself literally on the edge of my seat when I read some parts!
After reading The Maze Runner I got hooked on steampunk books. So I immediately fell in love with Incarceron when my mother bought it and took it home. After just a few chapters, I assure you the suspension and mystery will keep you reading and you’ll be hooked as well.
Want another opinion? Read Mairen’s review of Incarceron.
BOOK NAME: Matched
AUTHOR: Ally Condie
In the Society, the Officials decide. Everything. Cassia has always trusted their choices, decisions, and motives. From when you’re born to when you die, the Society decides. Everything in everyone’s lives are controlled by the white-dressed Officials. When Cassia gets Matched with her best friend, Xander, for life, she is certain it’s the wisest choice for the Officials to have made in her life. Until she sees the face of Ky on her Matching screen for a brief moment before it goes black. Cassia’s certainty in Xander weakens and her curiosity for making her own choices in life such as who she loves overcomes her. Decisions don’t have to be made, but it’s Cassia’s choice whether or not to make them, herself.
Matched was recommended for the fans of Twilight and The Hunger Games, but I beg to differ. Matched had no inappropriate content and sent out a message on the wisdom in making decisions, having hope, and loving someone truly. With a romantic curve ball to the story of the Society in which Cassia lives in, the book contains girly content I honestly loved. This book is recommended for ages 12 and up, containing some harder to understand content that would most likely satisfy the older age group. This is one of the few books I’ll remember when I look back on my good reads and I hope Matched is as enjoyable for you as it was for me!
BOOK NAME: The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn
AUTHOR: Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler
Seikei dreams of becoming a samurai, but he knows his fate cannot be like one of a samurai. Being a tea merchant’s son, he is expected to grow up and inherit his father’s trade. Living life by one day at a time, Seikei becomes familiar with the tea his father sells and almost gives up on his dream of being a samurai. Soon after, a ruby sent to the shogun (the military governor of Japan) is stolen by a ghost. Being the only witness, Seikei is required to assist the famous samurai magistrate, Judge Ooka, in his adventure to find the thief and return the ruby.
The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn is a book apart of the “Sleuth Puffin” group so it’s a mystery/adventure. This book was one I was to read for school. In full honesty, I read the summary on the back which covered most of the whole story like the paragraph above and I deeply sighed. A Japanese boy with a dream. A dream that couldn’t come true. Then something gets stolen and he has to help. So typical, right? After the second chapter in this book I kept reading and reading. I loved it so much! The storyline is admittedly common, but the authors, Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler, dazzled up the plot and the whole story came alive. No inappropriate content and a fabulous story! I suggest it to reading levels of 3rd grade and up!
BOOK NAME: All Shook Up
AUTHOR: Shelley Pearsall
After his grandmother is in the hospital and is in need of the care of Josh’s mother, he finds he has to stay with his father for a few months. When he meets his father at the airport, he is surprised to see the sudden change in his father’s appearance and attitude. Elvis Presley. Elvis hair, Elvis clothes, Elvis voice. Not only does his dad LOOK like Elvis Presley, but his job is to impersonate Elvis! Dreading the stay with his father, Josh gets mad and it shows in his every move.
When Josh goes to a new school and becomes popular, he decides it’s not too bad living there. Until his father plans to be impersonating Elvis at his school concert. Josh makes up a plan. A plan to save him the embarrassment and get him back to being the popular guy he originally was.
All Shook Up was an okay book. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I have with the other books I’ve reviewed, but it wasn’t a bad book in general. I have always loved Elvis Presley so the fact that Josh’s dad was an Elvis Presley impersonator thrilled me. I laughed at the quotes the author put in between the chapters. The quotes tickled my funny-bone and sent me into a fit of overwhelming giggles.
I’d suggest this to anyone of any age, but I must say this book revolves around the divorced issue of the family and although the problem isn’t resolved–it contains a lot on how Josh feels. Overall, it’s a great book for anyone who is interested!
BOOK NAME: Num8ers
After her mother’s death, Jem started to notice numbers in the eyes of
people surrounding her daily. As an infant she vocalized every number
she saw until it bothered those around her. Later on in life Jem
figured out the numbers were the dates of when people were going to die.
A long-term curse in her life, the numbers haunt Jem’s every
move–making her avoid any kind of relationship with people in her life.
When she meets Spider, another outsider, she takes a chance, dreaming
of a happy ending with this boy. Very little time passes before the
date in his eyes shows itself to Jem. Witnessing Spider’s death
herself, Jem is broken and her hopes of a new beginning fade away with
the beats of his heart.
I absolutely loved this book and there was only one downside; the book
had a tremendous amount of content that would be inappropriate for
younger readers. Although some concepts in this book were hard to
understand, it had an amazing plot and was unlike any other book I’ve
read. As disturbing as it seems, I truly enjoyed when the author
unfolded the deaths of those around Jem. Her following the characters
around her, only to find that the numbers in their eyes are correct and
death waits for them around the next corner.
Rachel Ward wrote this book with lovely detail and the plot unfolded
perfectly –introducing new characters and obstacles smoothly. I plan
to read more of her books and I suggest you read this book if you are of
the appropriate age.
BOOK NAME: The Everafter
AUTHOR: Amy Huntley
Life ended for Maddy–she’s dead and left with nothing except a few objects, representing specific times in her life; times that made her laugh and times that made her cry. Maddy calls her new surrounding “Is” and spends part of her eternity trying to understand death. Not only does she try to understand death, but life too.
Maddy is able to go back and re-experience some snippets of her life. She sees her mistakes and her flaws–she realizes what person she could have been if she made the right choices.
I liked how the book wove back and forth between the “Is”, where Maddy is dead, and the time when she was alive. Obviously too late to fix anything in her life–Maddy still learns about right choices and living.
The Everafter was written for grades 8 and up. Personally, I think it is age appropriate because of one scene when Maddy goes back to a point in her life where she spends time alone with her boyfriend Gabe.
I actually enjoyed this book and thought the author wrote it well. Amy Huntley described the character’s feelings thoroughly and didn’t leave any confusing gaps in the story.
BOOK NAME: The Maze Runner
AUTHOR: James Dashner
Every 30 days a new boy arrives at The Glade with no memory at all. The new arrival, confused and frightened, join the other boys, known as “Gladers”. The boys learn to survive, but mainly want to escape from The Glade. There is no way in and no way out – or so they think.
Each night the stone doors to The Glade close and the next morning they open back up. Beyond the doors is a maze; nobody goes into the maze except for the maze runners. The Gladers live in fear of what lays beyond The Glade; even the maze runners. As soon as the doors to the maze opens, the maze runners run out, trying to find a way of escape within the maze.
This is one of my favorite books ever. It’s also one of the hardest reviews I’ve ever written. James Dashner built so much of a storyline within this book’s plot it was so hard to digest all of it. Even when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it constantly. My whole family loved this author and we already back-ordered the next book in this trilogy, The Scorch Trials.
I recommend this to anyone I can, but it is suggested for readers in grade 6-10. I read this aloud with my whole family and we all enjoyed it–even my parents. Definitely a favorite and I’m hoping you like it as much as we did.
BOOK NAME: Rocky Road
AUTHOR: Rose Kent
Life choices have always been a struggle for Delilah, bad choices leaving her small family to suffer all the consequences. Later deciding she’d make a good choice for her family, she takes her daughter, Tess, and deaf son, Jordan, to live in New York.
Delilah suffers from a medical illness, making some of her days productive and successful while other days go downhill. After deciding to open an ice cream shop, Tess starts to worry about income and things seem to get worse from there. Soon she feels pressured to be the one that needs to take care of herself and Jordan.
When their life has their ups and downs, Tess tries her best to stay strong. Suddenly, she gets fed up with this sudden heap of responsibility thrown on her and takes a stand. Her opinions rise and she lets Delilah know how things need to be; specifically, how she and Jordan need Delilah to just be a mother to them.
Rocky Road is a book filled with life decisions. I liked how the author included Jordan, a deaf young boy. It added more drama to the book and made this li’l character stand out from the rest; although he obviously didn’t have much to say, he played a big role in the book.
I’d suggest this book to just about any age, everything being easy to understand. The book was overall appropriate with interesting characters. I must say it isn’t a favorite because it lacked one thing–an interesting story line.
BOOK NAME: Tortilla Sun
AUTHOR: Jennifer Cervantes
Tortured by the mystery of her father’s death, Izzy struggles to live without understanding how her father died. When looking through some boxes she found a baseball with the words, “because…magic” written on it. Determined to find out what the missing words are, she asks her mother who offers no information. All her thoughts simmer in her head until she goes to spend the summer with her grandmother. Slowly, her grandmother opens up, sharing information about her father Izzy never knew. After a few days, she feels she is getting to know her father better than she might have if he was still alive. Izzy continues to look for answers and slowly unravels the mysteries.
Almost all the characters in the book had Spanish names so it took a while to catch on to who was who in the storyline. The characters were fairly predictable–each one had a different background story, but the author wove all the stories together so they all related somehow throughout the book.
Honestly, even though the author obviously put time into sharing details of how each of the characters felt, the overall story line was somewhat dull for me. I didn’t really enjoy this book at all, but I think it may have been written for a younger crowd.
BOOK NAME: Scarlett
AUTHOR: Cathy Cassidy
Trying to figure out who she was suppose to be wasn’t Scarlett’s strength. She struggled with life and her parent’s separation didn’t give her much encouragement. In response, Scarlett became rather rebellious. She was suspended from several schools until her mother could not take it anymore. Scarlett’s mother sent her away to stay with her father–a man hated by both Scarlett and her mother.
When Scarlett returned to her father’s presence, he was already remarried and had another child. Scarlett’s anger burned towards the young girl while she did everything in her power to get back at her father. The family started opening up to Scarlett and she slowly gave into their loving kindness.
Meeting new people and learning a new way of life started to have positive effects on Scarlett, as she turned into someone everyone respected.
This author wrote my all-time favorite book so I tend to view her books in a positive light from the start. It is impressive how Cathy Cassidy take a common story line and “refurnishes” it–making it new all over again.
I would suggest this book for ages 10 and up. The characters are so real, and although it’s somewhat predictable, the book keeps you reading for more. After reading Dizzy by Cathy Cassidy I didn’t think it could get any better, but then I read Scarlett.
BOOK NAME: Noonie’s Masterpiece
Noonie Norton always had an odd view of art; she went through phases. Blue phases, purple phases, even polka dot phases! Unlike others, she painted everything as she saw it. Noonie painted for only two reasons: first, Noonie wanted to be like her artistic mother; second, she desperately wanted her father to come back for her from his travels. Noonie believed that if her father was impressed by her art, he’d come back to her! When Noonie’s school had an art contest, she saw it as an opportunity to make her father come for her. Would she win?
At age 10, Noonie is younger than me, but a lot like me. She is different from the other people in her school and doesn’t really care what they think of her. She’s artistic, but nobody seems to care. Her best friend, Reno is a math and science geek who assists her with her art; she bosses him and he willingly obeys her. Even though her family really loves her, they don’t always respect her artistic ways.
This book is one I’d pick up for a quick read, but it wouldn’t make it into my list of favorites. The characters are interesting and each has a weird personality. Every page of this book is illustrated with drawings, by the main character, Noonie Norton. The illustrations are just as amusing as the book itself. It’s great if you are interested in a quick and easy read. Being the author’s first book, I think it was impressive.
BOOK NAME: Nature Girl
AUTHOR: Jane Kelley
Being stuck in Vermont with no internet, cell phones, best friends, or TV was NOT on Megan’s summer to-do list, but it was on her parents’. Megan leaves home with her family to go to Vermont, only to find that her days will revolve around hiking, watching her sister and her boyfriend flirt, and drawing for hours upon end.
Megan isn’t so sure she will survive this vacation, especially when she gets lost on the Appalachian Trail. Once lost, she has a choice; she can wait for help or hike the whole trail to prove to everyone she can survive.
I think the author created a typical family in this book and the characters were so predictable. Although I did like the book, it wasn’t good enough to read again. In the book, Jane Kelley kind of re-created and modernized My Side of the Mountain, using a girl instead of a young boy.
In this book, Megan learned a lesson about not giving up and being brave. When she got lost in the woods, I thought that maybe she’d come to love nature and the woods. It seems like Megan just learned her lesson and the Appalachian Trail was used to make her lesson more interesting. Megan DID learn and understand her wrong doings in the end, but it was rough getting there.
This book is recommended for girls ages 9 to 12. It didn’t have any crude language or anything frightening in it. Nature Girl is a calm, humorous book with a few illustrations drawn by the character, Megan, on her journey through the Appalachian Trail.
BOOK NAME: Adam of the Road
AUTHOR: Elizabeth Janet Gray
Being a minstrel, Adam wanders the streets happily, doing cartwheels and bringing joy upon others. For years, Adam has done nothing but roam the streets with his red spaniel, Nick, and his minstrel father, Roger. When Adam’s father disappears and Nick gets stolen, Adam spends all his days looking for the two dearest things that belong to him. Roger and Nick.
I really enjoyed how the author described the scenery and how someone felt. I’d have to say my favorite character is Adam, the main character. The author just put so much personality into him. In this book, the “bad guy” was the man who stole Nick and I think I enjoyed having some amount of crime and mischief in the book.
Adam of the Road was a book I read for school. It isn’t a book that I’d read out of interest, though. I wouldn’t say that is a good book or a bad book. The reading level was too easy for me and the story seemed to drag. I think that it’d be interesting for a child of a younger age, but not so much for me.
BOOK NAME: Shadow of a Bull
AUTHOR: Maia Wojciechowska
Everyone expects Manolo to be like his history making, bullfighter father, Juan Olivar, who died when Manolo was 3. Inwardly, he is a coward, a boy who can’t even jump down from a haystack. With these characteristics, Manolo doubts he could be anything like his father. With 6 men teaching him everything about bullfighting, Manolo worries about letting down his dead father, encouraging mother, and the whole world. Manolo has a choice; he can be like his father or let everyone know who he is… as himself.
I’ve never been into bullfighting so this book didn’t really interest me. I can’t say it wasn’t a good book, either. The author made the characters real, but I was kind of disappointed that the “6 men” didn’t have names. I don’t think the author thought through the story well before she wrote it, either. Maia Wojciechowska, the author, did however know her bullfighting, making the bullfights and characters come to life with her knowledge.
I’d probably recommend this book to someone that likes bullfighting. The whole book is filled with bullfighting terms and words. In the back of the book, there is even a glossary of terms! That is the part of the book, I liked, though. I believe she did a great job with getting all her facts right. It’s an interesting Newberry Medal winner book.
BOOK NAME: Catherine, Called Birdy
AUTHOR: Karen Cushman
Catherine’s father is a pig who is determined to marry her away to any rich man. No matter how hard he tries, her father can not find a man who Catherine can’t scare off. With ash covered teeth, crossed eyes, and a sharp tongue, Catherine frightens off many men who ask for her hand in marriage. Can her burning hatred for her father and high spirit help Catherine win the battle against her own father’s greed for money?
It was short, but I liked it. I think the character Catherine would be my favorite. She’s kind of rough, but not tomboy-ish. If I was put in her position, being forced to marry, I’d act the way she does. Her family is very much like a common family back in the medieval times. I disliked her father very much. He seems like an ugly step father in a fairy tale, being bitter, prideful, greedy, but very much real.
The author did a great job getting her facts right in this book. I compared the way they did things in this book to some of my history books. Everything written in this book is in line with history. This book was the author’s first novel she ever wrote. I was surprised at how interesting it was and everyday I looked forward to reading it. I really enjoyed that the book was written in the form of a diary. There was minor cursing and I was surprised at this, just twice if not that. I recommend it to just about anyone, especially someone who wants a breath-taking quick read.
BOOK NAME: The Book Thief
AUTHOR: Markus Zusak
Liesel Maminger is a thief. She has a habit of picking up books and taking them…for good. The Nazi book-burnings are where she is the most successful–she justifies that taking just one book won’t make a big difference. With the help of her accordion-playing foster Papa, Liesel learns to read. She feeds her soul with books and uses them to create a better world for herself and family.
I think the Jew that lives in Liesel’s basement, Max is my favorite character. The love he has for Liesel is just amazing. Max shows his fatherly love for Liesel by doing simple things, such as writing her a short letter, and she does the same in return. I like how Liesel’s foster mother’s personality unfolds; she acts bitter and mean, yet inside she is really kind and loving. One thing I don’t appreciate is how she curses at her daughter. The characters were all so different, but combined all of them made this book more than memorable.
This book was just flat-out amazing. It was well written and the author was incredibly descriptive! I’ve written a review on his other book, I Am The Messenger, and that one was just as superb. This author writes great books for young adults and teens.
Markus Zusak wrote this book from death’s point of view, so at times it was a bit complicated and confusing. Honestly, there were a few parts where I just read a whole page over again to understand it. I strongly suggest teens interested in reading this book to look up a sample page from the first chapter online before purchasing. I had to stop at times and let parts of the book sink in, but I also think that’s why I have truly loved it so much.
BOOK NAME: Flightsend
AUTHOR: Linda Newberry
House hunting first started when Charlie’s mum wanted to move away from all her past and have a new beginning. Charlie seemed to be satisfied with her life, but her mum (Kathy) wasn’t so impressed. For a while, Charlie and Kathy looked through every single house recommendation from the estate agency and compared prices, quality, and even went to see some, only to be left disappointed. After many discouraging visits to different houses Kathy and Charlie seemed to slow down on looking for a house… until Flightsend. A flyer for Flightsend came in the mail one morning and while Charlie was at school, Kathy went to see it and came back reporting perfection. Taking Charlie with her, Kathy went to see the little cabin in the country town once more; they moved there in a matter of a month.
Charlie didn’t know how much her life would change in that little cabin, but it did. Many people entered her life while others left. Charlie also learned the importance of her small family.
I have to admit I was a bit disappointed with the way this book ended. I wanted to take the last chapter and rewrite it. Other than that, I thought this was a great story. There are some heavier concepts discussed in the end of the book that were a little confusing to me because I can’t really relate to them. This is a book about a girl who lived like any other person in this world. It was realistic and believable – definitely a book I would read again someday.
BOOK NAME: Jellicoe Road
Taylor is now confronted with her past. Memories haunt her as little things remind her of when her mother abandoned her at age 11. At the age of 17, Taylor is in the care of a friendly woman named Hannah, and lives at a boarding school. She is the leader of a junior high girls’ dorm, leaving her no time to deal with her emotions.
The same young, cute boy appears in all her dreams offering her comfort and advice. Small memories and dreams come together in her mind, tempting her to go and find her mother. When Hannah disappears without explanation, Taylor goes searching for the missing pieces in her life.
I purchased this book in the teen section of Barnes & Noble, but disagree where it was placed for many reasons. I do like that Taylor is a bold and brave girl with a deep concern for others. My favorite character is Taylor’s boyfriend, Jonah; rough and mean on the outside, he’s really caring on the inside. I am disappointed about some parts of this book and because of this, I honestly don’t plan on reading any of the author’s other books. I don’t recommend it, but if you do have interest in this book I suggest having your parents take a look at it before you buy it or check it out.
BOOK NAME: How it Happened in Peach Hill
AUTHOR: Marthe Jocelyn
Annie’s mother has “special powers” or so she says. She can draw out people’s secrets without them even knowing! Annie’s mother is Madame Caterina, and as a fortune teller, no one can resist her.
Deception runs in the family and Madame Caterina expects her daughter to follow in her family’s footsteps. Annie must lie about herself and find information about other people so her mother can have a successful career. Annie is getting tired of being the town idiot and wants to be like every other normal teenager. When Annie meets a boy named Sammy she immediately wants to impress him, but acting stupid won’t help. This is a story about a girl who learns to understand the importance of telling the truth and how she overcomes the wrong she’s done in her life.
This book didn’t take long at all to read. It’s a pretty small book, but the story isn’t short or boring. Though the mother was kinda the “bad guy” in the story, I really liked her free and interesting personality. I liked how she got along with others and how people just felt connected to her for no reason. I didn’t care much for Annie’s personality, though. Even though fortune telling isn’t true, I still enjoy reading about characters in books that use it. I think just about anyone could read this book, but I believe girls would appreciate the story line more.
BOOK NAME: Shepherd’s Quest: The Broken Key #1
AUTHOR: Brian Pratt
Chad Kelon and Riyan Borenson dreamed of nothing but adventures. They continuously tell each other stories of themselves rescuing fair ladies and defeating monstrous creatures. Then there was Bartholomew Agreani who is known as Bart. He is one of Riyan’s new friends and is handy with all sorts of tools used by thieves.
Accidentally, Riyan stumbles upon a cave which contained a few copper coins worth a lot of money. Unsure of what other treasures might remain deep in the cave Riyan informs Chad and Bart of his discovery leading to an adventure beyond their imaginations and their made-up stories. Along the way, the boys meet Kevik, a magic user. They have courage and bravery while they suffer the loss of many things, but they also benefit in the discoveries that they find.
When I read the summary on the back of the book and saw the cover I wanted to read this book. It seemed mysterious and maybe kind of scary. I read it to discover that it wasn’t scary at all. I think the vocabulary in this book is geared more for readers 10 and up. Shepherd’s Quest: The Broken Key # 1 is the first of three books. I found this book intriguing so I am going to read the other two in the series.